Remarkably, this Ramadan holiday season in Lebanon designees from both the Shia Higher Islamic Shiites Council and the Sunni Dar el Fatwa, figuratively speaking, pointed their binoculars deep into the eastern sky and in almost unheard of unison, proclaimed that Eid al Fitr this year was to be August 19th. It was a good omen for many in Lebanon that Shia and Sunni religious leaders agreed of this important event given the internal and external forces at work to further divide the two main denominations of Islam as well as all of Lebanon by sect, confession, geography, region, tribe, clan and neighborhood.
by Stephen Lendman
On August 15, 1945, Japan announced its surrender. On September 2, WW II officially ended. Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu's formalized it aboard the USS Missouri. Both dates signify VJ (Victory over Japan) or VP (Victory in the Pacific) Day.
End of war meant occupation. General Douglas MacArthur became military governor. He ruled a conquered state.
To this day, 67 years later, Japan remains occupied. A US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) stipulates terms under which American forces remain and operate.
In his book "The Sorrows of Empire," Chalmers Johnson described SOFAs as follows:
(Washington, DC) Don Meredith blessed us with that song. It's just about time to sing it regarding the 2012 Presidential Election. (Graph source)
Why? Because Mitt Romney's pick for vice president, the ultra-fit Representative Paul Ryan, is tightly associated with a make no mistake about it misogynist of the very worst kind. Republican Representative Todd Akin of Missouri is running in the Republican primary to oppose incumbent Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). At least he was until he revealed just how warped he really is at in an August 19 interview with Charles Jaco on the Fox local outlet in St. Louis, Missouri.
Jaco: In the case of rape, should that [abortion] be legal or not?
Rep. Todd Akin: … from what I understand from doctors, if it's a legitimate rape, the female bodies have ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that doesn't work or something, I think there should be some punishment but the punishment should in the rapist… (Charles Jaco, KTVI Fox, St. Louis, MO)
This isn't Ryan speaking but the slime may well stick to Ryan. Romney's number two is cosponsor of pieces of legislation with Rep. Akin. The Sanctity of Human Life Act equates a fertilized egg with a human being. Any procedure, birth control or abortion that ends the viability of the egg would be considered homicide (see Center for American Progress). Ryan isn’t casual about this issue. In a joint press release today, the Romney campaign clarified that Ryan opposes abortion in the case of rape. Romney does not.
by Stephen Lendman
Fifty-one years and counting! On August 10, 1961, America began spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Operation Ranch Hand waged herbicidal warfare for 10 years.
Around 20,000 sorties were flown. Other spraying was done from boats, trucks, or soldiers mounted with backpacks. Over five million acres were contaminated. About 20% of South Vietnam was sprayed at least once.
Millions of gallons of dioxin-containing defoliant were used across vast areas. Concentrations were 50 times greater than for other defoliation purposes. Horrific consequences followed.
Dioxin is one of the most deadly known substances. It's both natural and man-made. It's a potent carcinogenic human immune system suppressant. Minute amounts cause serious health problems and death.
by Stephen Lendman
AIPAC is an unregistered foreign agent. It calls itself "America's Pro-Israeli Lobby." It's represented Israeli interests since 1953.
Virtually no one in Congress confronts it. Doing so is a career-ender. It has enormous influence over US Middle East policies affecting Israel, including war and peace.
It disseminates disinformation, lies and hate. It viciously attacks opponents. It calls Iran "the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is racing toward a nuclear weapons capability."
The Syrian regime should be smashed fast.
Mr. Bashar al-Assad doesn't deserve to be on this earth.
Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister
Voice of America August 17
What do you expect from a fake socialist government? French President Francois Hollande joined the Empire Project's histrionic chorus just as soon as he could after taking office. His comrade, Mr. Fabius, announced the nouveau reign of terror policy toward foreign leaders who upset the grand plans of NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council states.
Russia may have made some steps forward towards social progress since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but it seems that President Vladimir Putin is doing everything he can to crack down on political dissent. And the new poster girls for this oppression are members of the feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot.
On August 17, three members of Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred". The charges arose from a protest they staged in a Moscow cathedral in which they criticized Putin's policies. And the verdict came down despite international outcry.
by Stephen Lendman
International law protects refugees and asylum seekers.
Article I of the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees calls them:
"A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country."
Post-WW II, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established to help them.
To gain legal protection, they must:
• be outside their country of origin;
• fear persecution;
• be harmed or fear harm by their government or others;
• fear persecution for at least one of the above cited reasons; and
• pose no danger to others.
Until April 5, 2013 the 1984 American science fiction-horror film, directed by John Carpenter could be streamed or downloaded from a number of websites. They Live (Full movie) was in the playlist below created by Buddy Huggins.
These days you can’t swing a cat or open your mailbox without being hit by a flood of emails about the memorials, tributes, condolences, and donation sites for the victims of these tragedies that the conspiracy theorists say were created -- not right after the event, but right before the event.
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